Date registered: Sep 2004
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I think that the Lebanese have greatly overestimated their civlian losses. It looks like well under a thousand civilian deaths have occued in over a month of fighting. SA was telling us that the death toll had reached 900 in the 2nd or 3rd week of hostilities alone. We were also told that many people are buried under the rubble and are unaccounted for in the official death toll. And yet we learn from Qana, e.g., that a large number of people had evacuated before the bombing and that the death toll was less than half of the 60 civilians estimated at first. So far I have not heard of large numbers of people being found under the rubble since the bulldozers have started clearing debris.
I read an interesting article about civilian casauties in war. It mentioned how German and Japanese cities with large civlian populations were deliberately targeted during WWII because the war effort requires breaking the will of the people who support the regime and not merely the military apparatus of the state. That's not to say that purely civilian targets should be chosen but, rather, that since civilians are necessarily integrated into areas of strategic importance (such as factories) they are a part of the war effort and a legitimate target.
Israel's ambassador to the UN was on Fox last week and stated that this was "Lebanon's last chance". A thinly veiled threat that should Lebanon (and UNIFIL) renege on its UN agreement to disarm Hezbollah and further incidents occur, Israel will simply demolish the entire state of Lebanon, public opinion be damned.